Standing out from the crowd in a competitive marketplace isn’t always easy. You’ve got the delicious food down. Your restaurant concept game is strong. Your service staff is attentive and personable. Win. Win. Win. But, differentiating your business from competitors all working towards the same goal of getting guests through their doors and increasing sales, is another story.
Our team is weighing on smart strategies to increase sales in restaurants and garner the coveted restaurant return on investment.
Patio Prowess. Our inspiration chart-topper to increase restaurant sales? That warm spring breeze wafting its way through DC these days and our yearning to get out and dine al fresco. The “add a patio to increase revenue” idea tops our list for its extension of your footprint and your brand, the fact that diners who see happy customers soaking up the beautiful weather while enjoying your food and inviting outdoor area is the best form of marketing, and crafting a seasonal, outdoor menu is a great way to separate this space and make it feel special.
Communicate with Staff. “First and foremost, they are your sales people,” says our MP/VP of Restaurant Operations Amber Hartman, “so make sure they are well informed, well trained, and engaging.” Staff who are confident in a brand, their job responsibilities, the food and drink served (and the backstory behind menu items, ingredients & inspiration) are apt to give their best performance. They are the face and voice of your brand, so we recommend holding staff meetings and training sessions on a regular basis. Creating an environment of open communication and transparency will translate to a knowledgeable, confident team and guests that feel as though they’re welcome and in good hands.
Increase Guest Checks. With great sales people, come great sales. Your training should include that backstory and inspiration. Does your chef grow his or her own vegetables and herbs? What’s the story behind your vendors, suppliers, and sources? Is your pasta handmade? Do you distill your own line of small-batch spirits? Are your desserts made from scratch? Capitalize on your strengths and points of difference, training staff to set you apart. Talk about those fresh ingredients and handmade pastas, offer a great bottle of wine and/or handcrafted cocktails to accompany a meal, and who doesn’t love a decadent, delicious dessert to top-off their meal? All a win. For your bottom line + your staff’s tips.
Create an Experiential Environment. “Millennials,” says Amber, “have become a target market, and Instagram in particular has become an important social media marketing tool.” To put it into perspective: Millennials are steeped in technology. They don’t know a time without the Internet or social media. “So,” Amber says, “creating experiences that will boost social media and get people talking about you is a great way to create an experiential environment.”
Build Brand Loyalty. Guest appreciation = Great business. Showing repeat guests some love will come back to you through increased restaurant salesin sales each time they return. Establishing a connection with customers is crucial in a restaurant industry that depends on (and thrives on) guest-satisfaction. Promote that connection through loyalty cards, personalized branded gifts, reward strategies, and the like. Incentive programs are vital to building, and keeping, your business in the black.
Aim to increase your revenue just like you build your brand… one customer at a time.